Mouthy 6 month old Shepherd mix. TEAMWORK!

Got 2 great questions from a Massachusetts trainer today:

Hi Meg,

Everything is going well with us! I have a 4 dog CGC (Canine Good Citizen testing designed by the American Kennel Club) prep class that are all in need of flower essences in class! Still fine tuning - this week I used COURAGE and TRUST, next week I am going to try CONFIDENCE. Then it is a question of Best Behavior vs. Teamwork.

QUESTION: Anyway - my main concern today is a 6 month old shepherd mix that is incredibly mouthy especially when excited by children or being in group class. Even implementing "gentle" for taking treats is a struggle with her. She clearly has developed a strong habit for using her mouth that we need to address. Do you have any advice as to which flower essence blend could help? Thanks!

ANSWER: Mouthy... I would definitely use DRAMA-TRAUMA especially considering the age - it sounds like lack of impulse control and gets a little panicked in the moment. I love to spray just one or 2 puffs on a bunch of soft squishy toys and 'place' one in her mouth meaning - put them in her mouth - don't let her bite or grab so be ready to place toward the back of the mouth - not all the way to the back - that will trigger a different biting response.

Plus using many different toys doesn't let her anticipate size and texture and bring further attention to her mouth. The mouth is connected to the limbic system = the area controling thinking and impulse!

I say have 4-5 pre-sprayed toys ready to go so if she spits one out, doesn't like one, or finds a distraction in the environment. Don't have them visible to her because that is the 'next shiney object syndrome' for distractable canines. They will drop the one in the mouth just to see if the next one has a higher reward value.

I love Shepherds, they are so smart that they make us better teachers! Right? 

QUESTION of Best Behavior vs. Teamwork:

BEST BEHAVIOR is for us when we are one on one with the dog like in a shelter or in private sessions. Or if the owners have a good handle on communicating requests knowing it is not the dog's fault that they are not understanding the lesson.

The label reads: Good Manners 24/7. Positive Training with Lifetime Results.

TEAMWORK is for humans recognizing they are part of a team. Also gives them help in seeing what the dog is offering in way of a behavior. Like they want a down but the dog wants to spin... then teach spin first that day!!!

This label reads: Trainers' favorite. Establishes respect and trust while learning co-operation.